Michael Ward powers toward the finish line of the 21-kilometer men s race on Saturday at Round Valley. Ward finished the race in just under an hour to
Michael Ward powers toward the finish line of the 21-kilometer men s race on Saturday at Round Valley. Ward finished the race in just under an hour to ensure himself the top spot on the podium. Christopher Reeves/The Park Record

Walking to the finish area at the Round Valley Roundup on Saturday morning was an exercise in caution.

The warm snow made for wet, slippery conditions, with non-skiers often sinking into snow up to their shins.

But slap on a pair of skis and everything seemed to be just fine for the Roundup participants, who showed up en masse to an event many assumed would be canceled.

"We got a call late last night saying, 'Hey, I think we need to cancel,' because grooming was going poorly," Mountain Trails Foundation Executive Director Charlie Sturgis said. "We postponed that decision until [Saturday] morning. At 5:30 this morning it was 46 degrees out here. When I came out, I didn't think it was going to work."

However, the track was still firm, so Sturgis decided to go for it and host the event as scheduled.

"The fact we were able to get a firm track was good," he said. "That was a big deal."

Even still, the races had to be altered to accommodate the "Sochi-like conditions," according to Sturgis. Instead of races of 40-, 20- and 5-kilometers, participants skied courses of 30K, 21K and 4K on Saturday.

Despite the alterations and conditions, Sturgis said everyone who came out had a great time.

"Everybody's glad we actually pulled the race off," he said. "People are super psyched no one likes to cancel an event. And it would have been a complete pain to cancel."

Though he was worried initially about racer turnout, Sturgis said this year's event was relatively well attended.

"We had a really good turnout at the end not as good as the very first year, but when conditions are dicey for races, people kind of wait it out and then decide whether to show or not," he said. "But it was a great day. We're glad we did it."

Thomas Seidel of Salt Lake City won the men's 30K race with a time of one hour, 27 minutes, 22.2 seconds. Roxanne Toly of Park City captured the top spot in the women's 30K race, crossing the finish line in 1:43:14.7.

Barry Makarewicz, also of Salt Lake City, finished two tenths of a second behind Seidel (1:27:22.4) to take second place overall, and Jennifer Santoro of Cottonwood Heights, Utah, finished second in the women's race, a little over three minutes behind Toly.

Michael Ward won the men's 21K race with a time of 59:28.6, finishing a little more than 30 seconds ahead of Park City's Alex Jackson. Barbara Blanke of Highland, Utah, won the women's 21K race in 1:14:25.5, beating second-place Kat Carr of Salt Lake City by nearly two minutes.

In the men's 4K race, Wil Nichols of Salt Lake City and Drew Palmer-Leger of Park City shared top honors, crossing the finish line in a dead heat after nine minutes, 54.9 seconds of hard racing. Sydney Palmer-Leger of Park City took home the women's 4K top spot, finishing the race in 10:43.8 to very, very narrowly edge fellow Parkite Brenna Egan, who finished in 10:43.9.

For full results of the Round Valley Roundup, including a breakdown of the age group finishes, check out the Scoreboard section Saturday's edition of The Park Record.